DC Rob Hayes
I joined Cumbria Police in my mid-twenties, after a few years working in conservation while I thought about what I wanted to do with my life. I was lucky enough to attend one of the country’s top two universities and the majority of my peers went straight into high-earning and very successful jobs - so after leaving university it’s fair to say I felt the pressure! At that stage I already knew I didn’t want to go into any of the ‘expected’ career paths - but instead wanted a job that was interesting, challenging, and where I got to ‘make a difference’.
When I joined the police, I knew I’d found what I wanted. The variety of work and opportunities a police career affords are, I believe, second to none. Uniformed policing is incredibly rewarding, but for me being a detective tops even that. During my relatively short career so far (six years) I have worked in main office CID, public protection, management of sex offenders, and organised crime, and worked with other forces to arrest and prosecute criminals across the country who’ve had a devastating impact on the vulnerable in Cumbria. Now is a good time to become a detective, as opportunities to work in different roles and develop your skill set are available even for police officers who are young in service and still looking to ‘prove’ themselves.
When I meet up with my university social circle I might not arrive in the latest German car but, given a choice between consulting on a corporate restructure or taking down a drugs / paedophile gang, I know which I’d choose. There are a number of challenges to working as a detective, and you have to be prepared to develop a certain degree of resilience to traumatic situations and high workload, as well as to have your work scrutinised at crown court. That being said - as friends and family are probably sick of hearing (or anyone else whose ear I can bend, let’s be real) - it is still ‘the best job in the world’!